Student mulls life after graduation

Life after graduation did not turn out quite how Angel Chichester had imagined. The 2001 Northern Kentucky University graduate is currently settling into her new apartment in Louisville, continuing her search for a job in advertisement, paying back student loans and has just given birth to a baby boy last Thursday.

“At the time I found out I was pregnant, according to my post college plan that I had wrote down, I would have already had a job,” Chichester said. “In my life book, I put graduation May 12, working at advertising agency by the end of summer.”

But things don’t always happned the way we plan. The 23-year-old currently works as a Bankruptcy Specialist at Providian Bank. A job she only accepted as a means to pay her bills, she said. Meanwhile, she continues her intermittent pursuit for an entry-level position at an advertising firm and begin her long sought out career, an indeavor that began months before her graduation. So far, no luck.

“When I first graduated, I had approximately six interviews within two months, maybe a little bit more. After that, I started working at Providian.”

When she called back the buisnesses that interviewed her, she received the unfortunate news that they had already filled the positions.

“So then I ended up interviewing again maybe two or three more times, then the Sept.11 thing happened and I tried to make phone calls but nobody was really doing anything at that time. So I waited till the new year started. And since then, I had one.”

Other than the fact that Providian provides her with a source of income, Chichester said she really doesn’t appreciate the job that much and has even fallen asleep on several occasions. She also said that NKU has prepared her to handle jobs that are much more challenging than the one she has now.

“I feel like I know more than the mangers do. They tell us [employees] some stuff and it just sounds stupid. But I can’t even get that job because I would need a certain amount of managerial experience, which I don’t have.”

In addition to being a member of various student organizations during her stay at NKU, Chichester also worked as the Program Coordinator at the Student Life Office, which allowed her to become involved in virtually every major event on campus. However, all of her participation in university activities didn’t add up to the expereinces that a person receives during an internship in their feild of study.

“Had I co-oped or interned in an actual advertising agency, as I was trying to get one, it would’ve taken off that year that most people require for experience,” She said. “Upon graduation, I feel that I would’ve had a better opportunity to at least go back to that particular firm.”

To add to her concerns, the six-month grace period on her student loans ended in November.

“I can’t really pay for the bill because I don’t make the amount of money that I was hoping to make by now. But they [the student loan agency] don’t care,” said Chichester. “They’ll give you some kind of deferment but that really doesn’t do anything but stretch out the process, which would give you more interest, which in turn makes the debt higher. Oh God I hate that!”

But it will take more than these recent ordeals to break her will to succeed. Dr. Russel Procter, a professor of Speech Cummication and one of Chichester’s teachers, described Angel as “someone who decides what she wants and goes after it, and doesn’t let anything stand in her way.”

Danniell Richardson, a senior and one of Chichester’s friends said, “She always has a smile on her face when you see her and she’s always there when you need someone to talk to,” said Richardson. “When she has a goal in mind, she usually accomplishes it.”

Greg Walker, a senior who knows Chichester said, ” You rarely see her in a bad mood. She’s just an overall good person.” He also said that “She’s a little too hyper sometimes. Some days when you want to chill, she’s always revved-up, always going.”

In addition to her true friends, Chichester also has the loving support of her family. A factor that has helped her stay optimistic, she said.

“I try not to be discouraged. I think discouragement will hit anybody if you lay down a plan and your plan has not yet taken place,” she said. “I know that something is out there. I have the faith that something is out there.”

Her original plans have not changed, she said. They’re just a little altered.

“Within six years I know, I have the faith in God that I’m going to be out of Louisville, married, working in a large firm and having some type of a successful career path,” she said. “I know what I want and I’m going for it.”

“Becuse a lot of the people there do not have the higher education, getting paid whatever an hour, they’re happy with it because they feel it’s a lot. Some places you can get seven dollars an hour, where as Providian you can get $11 and $12 an hour. That’s not satisfactory for me seeing that I have an education and have been trained in something on a better level than that.” “There’s no hope for growth there.”

“I have come across a lot more focus on what is included on my resume’. Meaning that, I was active in school outside of just going to class. So I was able to have a co-op at the Student Life office. I was also able to hold various positions in different types of organizations, giving me experience on that level, also showing them that I’m able to do many tasks. They look more at that rather than asking me or inquiring what my GPA was. And I’m assuming that is because I was so active in many things and I have picked up the experience as far as communication experience and working experience and handling different tasks.

“That particular fact, that I have graduated from NKU, has kept me more local. If I’m going to UK, for instance, how many people in the nation know about UK? Therefore I feel that had I gone to UK, maybe I would’ve had a better chance outside the Kentucky/Cincinnati area. I’ve chosen to keep myself local for that reason, because it’s hard work now with it just being local. So I know that going somewhere in another state, where they have no idea what a Northerner is, it would be harder because I would be competing with people from bigger universities out there.”

“I believe that the resume’ and the work on the resume’ show what you’re willing to do regardless of what school you went to.”

“I had a class where I had to do stuff on computers. And whether being president, treasurer, secretary of a certain organization, I was able to use that software in that position, so I’m able to say hey I had the class and, in these organizations, I put that work to use outside of this regular class work.”

“Interviews are tricky. ____________ And then when you get that call or you call to find out what happened, they say they hired someone else. Only thing I can think of, they just found somebody better. But, in my mind, I’m like, how, when they seemed to like me at the interview. In the discussions I didn’t see any bad facial expressions or when I told them what I can do as far as software was concerned, they where impressed, because half the time they couldn’t do it. It makes you reevaluate, well what did you do wrong.”

“Some people who have been there for 30 years have never been in an organization, if they have, what have they done in that organization? The person interviewing them is going to ask, you where in Black Women’s Organization, what did you do? You were a member for this organization for eight years, what did you do? And you never lead any type of program, committee or anything like that. So then, you’re there for seven years doing what other than going to class and socializing?” Suddenly, “As long as you live under my roof” becomes a factor again. She is no longer only accountable for herse
lf. “You can’t stay out till two and three o’clock in the morning anymore, thinking that I have to be at work at seven or eight, and if I’m tired I’ll just call in or just won’t show up. You can’t do that. Depending on how you handled your work at school, your responsibility either jumps on you or you’ve already prepared yourself for it.”

“That’s basically the largest thing, less free time to just ‘kick-it’ and play cards and drink or do whatever you want to do. People can try it when they first get out and into starting their job but, it will be hard, it won’t last long.”

“She knows that I was not out just doing nothing. It’s not like I quit school and came back and lived with my mom and I’m all of a sudden a scrub because I’m living with my mother. I was doing something with my life. I wasn’t just out on the streets.

“If I have a job opportunity today, within in a year, I will be getting my first promotion at that job. …and being happy with what I’m doing rather than waiting a year and being miserable at a job I despise and I’m only there for because I have to have money.

“I am going to have a job, and if someone offers me a job, I’m taking it because it’s better than where I’m at and I will be happy. Therefore, I will be happier to live my child in daycare and pick my child up on a daily routine than doing that at Providian. I can live a happier more fulfilling life. “I refuse to be one of those people stuck at a job and unhappy.”

“Within 6 years I know, I have the faith in God that I’m going to be out of Louisville, married, working in a large firm and having some type of a successful career path.”